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Concept Analysis: Compassion Fatigue and Effects Upon Critical Care Nurses

Jenkins, Belinda BSN, RN, CEN; Warren, Nancy A. PhD, RN

doi: 10.1097/CNQ.0b013e318268fe09
Additional Reading

Walker and Avant's method of concept analysis was used to delve into the initial understanding of compassion fatigue, a relatively new concept being explored with critical care nurses and other health care professionals. The term was originally used in 1992 involving research exploring burnout experienced by critical care nurses when a trend emerged where nurses appeared to have lost their “ability to nurture.” The term has since been used synonymously with secondary traumatic stress disorder. Two important goals exist for this article: First, theoretically to conduct a concept analysis of compassion fatigue, thereby providing information for critical care nurses to understand the concept as a universal human experience. Second, from a caring perspective, identifying the effects related to critical care nurses provides an opportunity to address physical and somatic consequences of compassion fatigue that will ultimately become important to nursing practice, education, and research.

Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee (Ms Jenkins); and Department of Nursing, University of Tennessee, Martin (Dr Warren).

Correspondence: Nancy A. Warren, PhD, RN, Department of Nursing, University of Tennessee, 136 H Gooch Hall, Martin, TN 38238 ( or

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.